For a beautiful greyhound named Maddie, Friday, June 23, probably will seem like just another day at the office.
For many other dogs, which never get to see where their humans work, that day will be a special treat because it's the eighth annual Take Your Dog to Work Day, created by Pet Sitters International.
The point primarily is to encourage more people to adopt dogs that need homes. Some Marco Island firms where dogs are on staff say it's also good for business.
Maddie, a sleek, bashful, gorgeous greyhound, is the official dog at Island Kitchens & Bath on East Elkcam Circle. Proprietors Larkin Barnett and Didi Wooller wouldn't dream of a day at work without Maddie to charm the customers.
Maddie has been doing that since Wooller got her almost five years ago.
"People love to stop in just to see Maddie," she says. "Some sit on the floor and pet her, leaving with a smile whether they came in with one or not."
Wooller tells of one customer, a lady in a wheelchair, who was alarmed when Maddie padded over and laid her head on the lady's lap.
"I've never touched a dog in my life," the customer said. "I don't like dogs."
Soon she was petting Maddie, enjoying her first personal canine encounter.
Marco Island has other well-known office dogs. At Prout's Plumbing on East Elkcam, Brenda Zeigler says there's always been a doggie greeter since before she joined Prout's in 1985.
These days the Prout's pooches include Reesie, Zeigler's 10-year-old cocker mix, a rescue dog, and Lady Grace, a miniature cocker puppy owned by Cindy Prout Pierce.
Zeigler says customers are welcome to bring their dogs in when they come.
Word has spread around the island's canine community that doggie treats are tasty at Prout's.
Dogs are on duty as well at the Progressive Auto Car Wash on Bald Eagle Drive. I'm told that two of the three dogs owned by owner Lisa Kelly have their own job descriptions.
Pee Wee, a 10-year-old terrier-Chihuahua mix, runs the Complaint Department and Cloe, a five-year-old Patterdale terrier, heads up Human Resources. Louie, a 10-year-old Chihuahua reportedly is just glad to be there. Kelly rescued Louie in November from the Humane Society just before he was to be put down.
Some banks stock their drive-through teller windows with candy for the kids and doggie treats for the critters that accompany their humans on their errands around town.
Our own dog, Callie, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, hangs out in our home office all the time. She clearly is unhappy, however, when work takes us elsewhere.
Many breeds of dogs have excellent work ethics and habits. Border collies can herd their little legs off.
Beagles working with federal agents can sniff out illegal fruit or veggies, drugs or other contraband with amazing accuracy. Some hounds can detect termites or paper money.
We all know and love the Labradors, shepherds, retrievers and others that do search and rescue and work as life-enhancing guide dogs.
It's a two-way street. Many of our dogs enjoy taking us along when they're working and we like returning the favor.
I write this now, three weeks before the official Take Your Dog to Work Day because you may want to give your workplace some advance notice.
You also may want to organize a dog day at work as part of the national observance and the effort to get more dogs adopted.
If so, visit Web site www.petsit.com for free information.